Extension of Heathrow – Have your say

heathrowAs part of its assessment on the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport, the borough held a ‘Scrutiny in a day’ meeting on Friday 16 September at the Civic Centre on the High Street, Esher.

Chaired by Councillor Christine Elmer, the aim of the meeting was to investigate and probe all the arguments surrounding the proposed expansion of Heathrow.  Recognising that there could be significant benefits for Elmbridge residents but that these need to be considered against environmental, transport infrastructure and safety impacts, the councillors heard from a range of stakeholders including Heathrow Ltd, Local Authorities Aircraft Noise Council (LAANC) who updated on air quality and noise concerns, the Council’s Housing Strategy and Enabling Manager and Economic Development Officer, as well as representations from private sector companies in the Borough.

Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) discussed their views on the proposed expansion of Heathrow with the Councillors at a meeting on Thursday, 15 September.

The borough is eager for Elmbridge residents to have their say. If you want to share your thoughts on the proposed expansion, then please complete the online survey. The survey is available on the Elmbridge website until midnight on 30 September.

Morrisons Deliveries

Morrisons-02Morrisons had applied to have the its delivery times times extended with a variation of condition four (deliveries/servicing) of planning permission 2015/0138 (delivery times) to allow deliveries between 5:00 and 23:00, seven days a week.  This would include bank and public holidays.

Whilst no-one had actually complained about noise following the previous extension and the application was conditional for one year only the it was generally felt that 5:00 was too early in the morning on a Sunday, especially when one felt that the shop only opens at 10:00 on Sunday.   Supermarket logistics are quite complicated especially in the south-east and delivery times are set more for distribution efficiency rather than the time the shop actually opens.

There were moves to allow the deliveries a little earlier than at present but unfortunately the planning committee may only refuse or permit it may not vary the application itself.

The applicant may now appeal against Elmbridge’s decision or submit a less extreme application next time.

Morrisons Again

Proposed view of Morrisons SmallMorrisons has applied to Elmbridge to extend its delivery times.  The current limits are Monday to Saturday – 7:00 to 23:00 and Sunday and Bank Holidays 9:00 to 15:00. All commercial vehicles must vacate the site by 23:00 Monday to Saturday and 15:00 Sunday and Bank Holidays.  Between 21:00 and 23:00 the Quiet Delivery System must be used.

Morrisons’ proposal is that the limits be set to the hours of 5:00 to 23:00, every day. From 5:00 to 7:00 in the morning and from 21:00 to 23:00 in the evening the Quiet Delivery System will be used.

Further details can be found here and you can give your comments here.  You will notice that there appears to be no plans in the new hours on Sunday, Public and Bank Holidays to use the Quiet Delivery System in a way that makes them different from normal workdays.

Now Planned Difference
Monday to Saturday 7:00 to 23:00 5:00 to 23:00 5:00 to 7:00
Sunday, Public and Bank holidays 9:00 to 15:00 5:00 to 23:00 5:00 to 9:00 and
15:00 to 23:00

Third Runway at Heathrow

heathrow_3_750Heathrow was a poor locational choice for a new major airport even when it opened in 1944 and replaced Croydon and Hendon airports.  Also the land for this new London Airport was forcibly purchased by the national government under special powers – the Defence of the Realm Act – without compensation to the landowners specifically to avoid public opposition.

A similar approach is happening today.  Notwithstanding, the impact of an enlarged airport on noise, air and ground pollution the proposed airport expansion does not make economic sense.  The assumptions used in the Davies report  – discount rates for investment, payback periods and PFI rates etc could be considered designed to ensure that Heathrow would be the recommendation of the report.

If it is considered that south-east England needs extra airport capacity then it should be in the Thames estuary, if at all, and while such an airport is being built then perhaps Gatwick could be expanded as a less dreadful choice than Heathrow.

At present Heathrow is running at too high a capacity – far higher than other airports. Heathrow should have the number of flights reduced so that it ordinarily runs at 80% capacity.  At such capacity the amount of stacking would be reduced, thus dramatically reducing air pollution and noise (saving fuel too) and also the airport would be able to cope better when the weather is not so favourable.

In my view – and I am interested in other options – the best way to reduce capacity is the auction off the current landing and take-off slots.  To do this the national government  – with one year’s notice  – should randomly withdraw six slots (flight movements in or out) a month (a week would be better but more unsettling for the industry).  The reason that withdrawn slots should be chosen randomly is to avoid any possibility that airlines could be seen to affect the choice of slot to be removed.  At the same time, four of those slots would be leased by auction for, say, five years to the highest bidder.  The revenue would not go to the airport but to the state.  The revenues could be partly used to either compensate those who lived near the airport before it was built or to develop better landside connections to reduce air pollution from arriving road traffic or both.

Elmbridge wins at the British Noise Oscars

dont-suffer-it noiseThe annual awards, dubbed the “Noise Oscars”, are hosted by the Noise Abatement Society and Elmbridge collected the local government award for its out of hours enforcement service run in partnership with Surrey Police. The service is in its second year and is conducted during the summer months (April – September) dealing with noise, alcohol and taxi licensing issues. The service was judged a great success, combining innovation with partnership working as well as offering great customer service.

The John Connell Awards recognise organisations and individuals for their outstanding efforts to reduce the impact of noise nuisance and pioneer practical and innovative solutions to noise pollution.

Flight path trials and aircraft noise

AirplaneA number of people have mentioned the recent increase in aircraft noise around Weybridge.  This is do with the need to review the flight paths around Britain.  Such a review has not happened for over forty years despite a rapid increase in air travel.  Each airport has been asked to examine possible new routes.

For more information click here

Morrisons back again

Morrisons Lorry-02Morrisons withdrew their previous application to relax the planning restrictions on their site (the reference number for the previous application is 2014/0484).

Now Morrisons has applied again to reduce the conditions imposed at the time of the original planning permission.  Their proposal last time is contained in this letter.

Morrisons’ current application is 2014/1892 and their letter explains their new proposal. The differences, as far I can see, is as follows:

Night time delivery
The first application requested that deliveries be allowed all night as long as they were governed by the quiet delivery system.  This time they are not extending the deliveries overnight but they want to abolish the quiet delivery system in the evening.

Sunday, public and bank holiday deliveries
The first application requested deliveries at all times.  This time Morrisons is requesting deliveries from 9:00 to 16:00 without operating the quiet delivery system.

Plant Noise
I can see no difference between their two requests to the loosening of the noise restrictions.

It is interesting to note that Morrisons initial planning application for a store was refused and then they applied again with a modified proposal which was permitted.  This time their initial request for the removal of conditions was withdrawn and the new application is reduced in scale.

Many local people objected to such a large supermarket in the town centre.  Others, who supported the development, did so with the proviso that a number of concerns were met with the appropriate conditions. One of those concerns was the increase in noise and the other the possible increase in movement of lorries during the night.

Morrison wants to remove these conditions because it feels that they are unnecessary and unduly onerous.  Many people have told me that Morrisons should have raised this matter during its original application – it accepted it then and should do so now.

Make sure your views are known by emailing tplan@elmbridge.gov.uk, quoting reference 2014/1892, before 20 June 2014.

Please remember that I am a member of the West Area Planning Sub-committee and the Planning Committee (the committees to which these types of applications are sent) and it is my duty to examine all planning applications on their merits. Elmbridge’s staff will have already examined the application and I, like them, must only apply planning law.

In a similar fashion, any comments you make will only be considered valid if they are based on planning law.  I can point you to the relevant parts of the law or you can seek help from the Weybridge Society which is very knowledgeable on planning law.

Osso Buco Licence Extension


Osso BucoThe Church Street restaurant has applied for an extension for the supply of alcohol to the following times:

Mon – Tue  10:00 – 23:00 
Wed – Sat  10:00 – 00:00
Sun             12:00 – 22:30

Make your views known before
17 February 2014

If you wish to object to this application click here. Please note that representations must be in writing as emailed or faxed representations cannot generally be accepted.